Join us for a celebration of the presidency with our founding fathers, military program staff, and the Fifes and Drums. This celebration will recognize those citizens who have served in office over the centuries as well as the states most closely associated with each president.
Meet a few of the great men in Williamsburg--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison—and learn how they were all shaped by their experiences here. General Washington, in 1775, talks about his tenure as a Burgess from 1759 to 1774. Governor Jefferson, in 1780, speaks about his early experiences as a lawyer in the General Court and about his efforts as governor to rewrite the laws of Virginia. James Madison, in 1790, talks about his role in drafting the Virginia Declaration of Rights and successfully promoting the adoption of Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom.
They say “behind every great man there’s a great woman.” In that case, an address by Martha Washington is surely one worth attending. Join Mrs. Washington as she speaks about becoming the first President’s wife and the expectations placed upon her while the new Nation watches on.
"If her sons united stand, great and glorious shall she be," are lyrics from the oratorio "The Temple of Minerva, America Independent," by Revolutionary statesman and composer Francis Hopkinson. Between George Washington's victory at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 and his inauguration in 1789, America transformed itself from a burgeoning nation to the first modern democracy. The country's newfound freedom and optimism fueled a demand for music with the theme "Liberty Triumphant."
Join the Governor's Musick ensemble as they explore the music of our new nation through the works of both American-born and immigrant composers, as well as music associated with Washington's Inaugural festivities. Celebrate this time of new beginnings and the man who helped create our national identity.
This program is not appropriate for children under age six. Children seven and older must be accompanied by an adult.
Meet with President Washington as he looks back over his long career in public service. How did his years in the House of Burgesses prepare him for later roles? Learn what it was like to serve as commander in chief of the American forces during the War for Independence. Listen as he reflects on his part in drafting the Federal Constitution, which led to his election as the first President of the United States.
Meet with President Jefferson as he looks back over his long career in public service. He will reflect on the American Revolution, drafting the Declaration of Independence, and his tenure as governor of Virginia during the war. Additionally, listen to his personal insight on what he thinks of his roles in the new government, as ambassador to France, first secretary of state, and third president of the United States.
Join President James Madison as he discusses present affairs and the state of the union, and reflects on the invention of the executive branch of the United States. Hear the philosophy and history that inspired the United States Constitution, and how the small city of Williamsburg played a pivotal role in developing the earliest ideas of liberty and republican government in this young country. Has America realized the principles established in her earliest writings? What will the future hold for this American Experiment?